What is Biodiesel?

Biodiesel is a  domestic, clean burning fuel for diesel engines made from animal and vegetable fats and oils. Unlike petroleum-based diesel, biodiesel is a renewable source of fuel because it can be naturally replenished using local resources. Unmodified diesel engines can potentially run on 100% biodiesel or any blend of biodiesel and petroleum diesel. A blend containing 20% biodiesel is called “B20,” a 5% blend is called “B5” and so on. Our biodiesel is produced locally from locally collected, recycled cooking oil.

Biodiesel is superior to conventional diesel in many ways. Biodiesel is non-toxic and biodegradeable, making it less damaging to the environment in the event of a spill or leak. Biodiesel has superior lubrication properties compared to diesel fuel. It increases engine life and can be used to replace the sulfur usually added to petroleum diesel, a lubricating agent that causes acid rain. Biodiesel is also safer to transport because of its higher flash point or ignition temperature.

Biodiesel can play a significant role in reducing air pollutants and greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to smog and global warming. Using biodiesel greatly decreases the carbon footprint of diesel vehicles. A recent U.S. Department of Energy study has shown that the production and use of biodiesel resulted in a 78% reduction in carbon dioxide emissions when compared to petroleum diesel. Biodiesel also has the highest energy balance of any transportation fuel. For every unit of fossil energy used to produce a gallon of biodiesel, 3.24 units of energy are gained.

Technical Definition for Biodiesel (ASTM D 6751) and Biodiesel Blend: 
Biodiesel, n – a fuel comprised of mono-alkyl esters of long chain fatty acids derived from vegetable oils or animal fats, designated B100, and meeting the requirements of ASTM D 6751.

Biodiesel Blend, n – a blend of biodiesel fuel meeting ASTM D 6751 with petroleum-based diesel fuel, designated BXX, where XX represents the volume percentage of biodiesel fuel in the blend.

For more information, or to learn more about biodiesel, please go to: www.biodiesel.org or www.californiabiodieselalliance.org